Brief Fact Summary. The Plaintiff, Joye (Plaintiff), slipped and fell on a banana peal in the Defendant, Atlantic and Pacific Tea Co.’s (Defendant), store.
Synopsis of Rule of Law. If there is no evidence to establish that the defendant had notice of the hazard, then the plaintiff cannot prove negligence.
It has been held in numerous cases in other States, that in order for a customer to recover damages for injuries sustained by falling on some vegetable matter in an aisle, there must be proof that the storekeeper had actual knowledge of the presence of debris upon the floor, or that it had been on the floor long enough to charge the storekeeper with constructive notice of its presence.View Full Point of Law
Issue. Whether the Defendant had sufficient notice of the hazard to be found negligent.
Held. The circumstantial evidence is insufficient to determine whether the Defendant had notice of the banana peal on the floor.
Discussion. The evidence presented shows that the floor was not swept for up to thirty-five minutes. Also, by the condition of the banana, there was no way to determine how long it had been on the floor. Without evidence that the store had, or should have had notice of the hazard, the Plaintiff cannot prove negligence.